When I saw Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker on Broadway in 1962 (I was 15), I could not stop thinking about Helen Keller. I still remember the scene where Annie Sullivan persistently held one of Helen’s little hands under a water pump and wrote out the word “water” in the other, as she tried to teach the child the meaning of the word. When Helen, left deaf and blind by a childhood illness, grasped what Annie was doing, and slowly started to utter “wah,” my heart felt as if it would leap from my chest.
People like Annie Sullivan are the greatest people in the world. Wonderful teachers are inspiring. Those who choose to teach under extreme circumstances are in a class by themselves. Their patience, persistence and passion are humbling.
My FOF friend, Mary Brooks, is involved with Clausen House in Oakland, CA, which helps people with developmental disabilities to live, work and serve in the community. Choreographer and Cal State professor, Eric Kupers, through his program Dance for All Bodies and Abilities, teaches modern dance and improvisation to many in the Clausen House community. Participants learn self-expression and communication; it also promotes psychological healing.
Mary sent me a DVD of a performance. It was beautiful. One of the dancers was in a wheel chair and reminded me of a character in the hit TV show, Glee.